The Fire

Reading ...little Story

Getting to school that morning, Vera knew something had happened. Everyone seemed upset and were chatting here and there, in little groups.

However, as Vera had arrived right on time, she went straight to class. As she entered the classroom, she heard the teacher telling the students:

- Poor Roger!

Surprised, Vera sat down and asked:

- Teacher, is Roger sick?

And the teacher replied, full of sorrow:

- No, Vera. Last night, Roger's house caught on fire and as it was made of wood, there's nothing left. The family is poor and do not know what will happen next! They only had time to leave the house, saving their own lives. As for the rest, their home, furniture, clothes, everything was burned by the fire.

The kids were busy commenting about the news and all talked at once. The teacher asked for silence, getting order in the classroom:

- Enough, everybody! Let's begin class!

The children were silent, copying what the teacher was writing on the blackboard.

Vera, however, could not stop thinking about her friend. She and Roger had never been very good friends and now she was sad about it and decided that, upon finishing the class, she would go to his house. She wanted to see him, see how he was.

When the bell rang, Vera rushed to go to Roger's house, but could not take long or her mother would be worried.


From far away, she could already smell the smoke. Getting closer, her eyes were filled with tears: there was only a bunch of burnt, black things, from which she could still see a whiff of dark smoke.

The street was full of curious people passing by and making comments. Looking around, Vera saw, across the street, some people sitting on the ground under a tree. Between them, was her friend. She crossed the street and approached him.

- Roger! How are you?

The boy stood up and, with a sad expression, said:

- Thank God we're fine, Vera. But I do not know what will become of us. We lost everything! I do not know where we will go or what we will make of our lives!

Vera thought for a moment, trying to put herself in his place: What if that happened with me and my family? Now, for example, it's lunchtime and I'm hungry. I am sure they are, too.

Determined, Vera invited:

- Roger, come have lunch with your family in my house.

The boy's eyes shone with satisfaction:

- Really, Vera? Well .. Accepted! Sure, we're hungry!

The boy introduced Vera to his parents, Maria and Manuel. He told them about her friend's invitation. Roger's parents were very happy and, with another cheer, they all went to Vera's home.

Once there, happy, the girl told her mother:

- Mom, I brought some friends to have lunch with us!

The lady was surprised to see so many people! They were a couple and three children!

Perplexed, Estella did not know what to do. She opened her arms, and stuttering, explained:

- Excuse me! I was not expecting! … Daughter, why didn't you tell me in advance?

- Mom, I did not warn you because it was just a few minutes ago that I thought of bringing them here.

And Vera explained to her mother what had happened, adding:

- So, Mom, because of the situation that this family is going through, I remembered our Gospel at home last week, when we read that passage where Jesus said that if

we were to give a banquet, we should invite to our home, not those who can not pay us back, but the most needy. Today I could not eat lunch knowing that my friend Roger and his family had nothing to eat! ...

Embarrassed and with moist eyes, the mother acknowledged:

- You are absolutely right, my dear daughter. You have done well to have brought them to our house. Actually, I wasn't expecting this, but we will sort it out. Our meal might be a little late, but we will all have something to eat. If they wish, they could even take a bath. I imagine they should want to change their clothes, which are still smelling of smoke! We will get clothes for everyone!

Estella got a change of her own clothes for Mary, one of her husband's for Manuel, and one of her son's, which would serve to Roger and asked Vera to go to neighbour to get clothes for the two younger children.

While the mother took care of lunch, Vera showed them the bathroom and each one took a bath, which brought them great disposition.
In the kitchen, Estella was thinking what could she make for so many people. Suddenly, she opened the closet and decided: - I know! ...

Some time after, lunch was ready and a delicious smell of food filled the air. The owner of the house, Walter, had arrived and was introduced to the visitors by Vera, who explained the reason for all of them being there. He was satisfied.

- Estella, how did you prepare lunch so fast? - Mary asked, surprised.

- It was easy! I made pasta. It's quick to make and everyone loves it!

They all sat down for the meal, and Estella started to say a prayer:

- Lord! Today we have much to thank You, because thanks to our daughter Vera, we have the presence of dear guests, and we ask You for Your blessings so that their situation will be resolved in the best way. May we have a good lunch and Your peace!

Everyone ate with satisfaction the generous and delicious pasta Estella prepared.

Gathered there, they experienced more joy and well-being, feeling the mood light and enjoyable. Roger's family did because, despite having lost material things, they preserved their greatest gift: Life! And Vera's family, because they could practice the teachings from the gospel of Jesus, doing good.

But that was not all. They organized a campaign to help that family in need, and the whole town helped. There came things non-stop: building materials, furniture, appliances, clothes, everything they would need to restart their lives.

Walter was keen to have them remain living there with them, as long as necessary. And he also got Manuel a better job, so that he could raise his children with more tranquillity.

The two families got along so well that they became friends for life.

And Roger, when someone remembered the fire, would say:

- I do not regret what happened. It was thanks to the generosity of Vera that our lives changed for the better! I could never thank her enough. Thanks, friend!

And he would give her a hug full of affection.


Message psychographed by Celia Xavier de Camargo on May 9, 2011.
Translation Johnny Silveira 

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